tv The Situation Room CNN July 6, 2012 4:00pm-7:00pm EDT
overdrive and arms his opponent, mitt romney, with new political ammunition to use against him. look at this. unemployment is stuck at 8.2%. and only 80,000 jobs added in june. the numbers are even worse when you look at minorities. we're covering all sides of this dramatic political story. our own dan lothian and dana bash, they are both standing by live. but first cnn's poppy harlow breaks down the numbers. >> hi there, wolf. i think the headline for this jobs report is disappointing. only 80,000 jobs created in the month of june. unemployment stays at 8.2%. we need to be creating somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 jobs a month pretty consistently to bring that rate down. issues here 12.7 million americans still unemployed in this country. 5.4 million of them have been out of work for six months or longer. the longer you're out of work, the longer it takes you to find a job. that is a problem. also very key here.
2.5 million people are not counted in this unemployment rate at all. they can work, but they have stopped looking for work. so they're not counted in the unemployment rate. so it's actually higher than 8.2%. also very key here is minorities. we have to look at what has happened to african-americans. their unemployment rate has gone up for the month of may. it's now nearly 14.5%. it is pretty much double unemployment for whites, hispanics, 11% unemployment. that's problematic. and this is all very political. looking at the big picture here, we were bleeding jobs at the end of the bush administration and the beginning of the obama administration. this is where you'll hear the president talk about jobs recovery. but the issue here is the last three months. april, may and june. we have seen just anemic jobs growth. this jobs report is key because we only have four more jobs reports before the election. so you're going to here back and forth from both the obama administration and the romney
camp about which policies are going to get us back on track because we need to be creating many more jobs than we are right now to get this unemployment rate down. wolf. >> you're absolutely right, poppy. thanks very much. cnn senior congressional correspondent, dana bash, has been following mitt romney this week. he may be on vacation in new hampshire, but he didn't miss the chance to pounce. he spoke out reacting to these latest jobs numbers even before the president, dana. >> reporter: that's right. he sure did. he has been in new hampshire all week long. he's been jet skiing and boating and getting ice cream with his kids and grand kids. but meanwhile his campaign headquarters here in boston they have been waiting for today, the first friday of the month, to try to refocus the narrative for mitt romney on what they want to talk about, which is joblessness on president obama's watch. 90 minutes after news broke of disappointing jobs in your opinions, a vacationing mitt
romney appeared before cams ra. >> it's another kick in the gut for middle class families. >> reporter: responding fast is a way for team romney to begin its own political recovery after a rough holiday week. an aide veering off gop message about whether the health insurance mandate is a tax, which the candidate himself cleaned up on july 4th. >> the supreme court has the final word, right? isn't it the highest court in the land? they said it was a tax, didn't they? it's a tax. that's what they say it is. >> reporter: and there was an unusual amount of friendly fire. a pair of corporate heavyweights calling romney's advisors amateur and harsh editorials in the influential "the wall street journal" and weekly standard which slammed the gop candidate for focusing too much on what the president hasn't done and not enough on what romney would do. editor william crystal writing "adopting a prevent defense when it's only the second quarter and you're not even ahead is dubious enough as a strategy." a day later this got special emphasis. >> i have a plan.
my plan calls for action to get america working again and create good jobs both near-term and long-term. it includes finally taking advantage of our energy resources, building the keystone pipeline. making sure we create energy jobs and convince manufacturers that energy will be available and low cost in america. >> reporter: despite trying to quiet criticism by reiterating his economic plan, romney advisors believe this election will be a special twist on ronald reagan's famous question. >> are you better off than you were four years ago? >> reporter: romney aides argue with president obama it's not so much a question of are you better off, it's did he meet those high expectations he set four years ago for a different america with soaring rhetoric like this. >> everybody has a chance to succeed. from the ceo to the secretary. from the factory owner to the men and women on the factory floor. >> reporter: it was no accident that romney used an emotional
term, kick in the gut, not once but twice. >> america can do better. and this kick in the gut has got to end. >> reporter: now, mitt romney still has work to do to reassure those conservatives, especially those like on the editorial page of "the wall street journal" who say he's "squandering an historic opportunity to win the white house." wolf, let me give you a statistic to show you why conservatives are so worried and frankly frustrated. and that is since franklin roosevelt 70 years ago, no president has won re-election with the unemployment rate where it is right now. >> yeah. i think ronald reagan did it 7.2%, 7.3%. >> reporter: yeah. not as high as now, exactly. >> right. the president obviously has a lot of work over these next four months. i did notice and i'm sure you did as well, dana, that romney on this day he not only blasted the president, but he also went out and specifically noted what he would do differently. >> reporter: that's exactly right. as i noted in the piece, that
did not seem to be an accident at all. he went out and he really trashed the president, but he was very specific and very clear. he said the word plan two or three times. i have a plan. and then he went onto list the plan. as you know, wolf, part of the problem that conservatives have and their concern isn't just that he's not talking about his plan, is that it is 59 points which is a lot to talk about. they want to narrow the focus. much like john sununu said to you yesterday. >> yes. thanks very much for that, dana. president obama did his best to put a relatively positive spin on the jobs numbers out on the campaign trail in ohio. here's cnn's dan lothian. >> reporter: president obama's battleground bus tour drove over a big speed bump when disappointing job numbers overshadowed his campaign message. >> it's still tough out there. >> reporter: at a rally in poland, ohio, the president
didn't dwell on negative news. instead played up private sector gains. >> business has created 84,000 new jobs last month. and that overall means businesses have created 4.4 million new jobs over the past 28 months including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs. [ applause ] that's a step in the right direction. >> reporter: but unemployment remains at 8.2%. and voters are divided over who best can handle the economy. a recent cnn orc poll shows 48% of registered voters think mitt romney. 47%, president obama. looking to keep a tight grip on the battleground states of ohio and pennsylvania that voted for him in 2008, the president pushed his message of manufacturing gains especially in the auto industry to working class voters. he began the final day of his betting on america bus tour with breakfast in akron, ohio, where the president was joined by three union workers from a nearby goodyear tire plant. >> you've been there 20 years.
you still there? >> reporter: then he toured this manufacturing plant near youngstown. a business the campaign said was expanding and creating jobs. at carnegie-mellon, there was one final appeal for a second term. >> and if you still believe in me like i believe in you, i hope you will stand with me in 2012. >> reporter: now, wolf, a sad note, the owner of ann's place, the restaurant where the president stopped in akron, ohio, to eat breakfast, passed away shortly after meeting the president. her name is 70-year-old josephine ann harris. no official cause of death, but the news we get is she had a number of medical problems. and she was feeling a little tingly, was rushed to the hospital also suffering from fatigue and passed away a short time afterward. you're taking a look at some pictures there of the president at that restaurant this morning. again, 70-year-old josephine ann harris, who met the president,
died a short time later. >> that's a sad story. that's a very, very sad story. our condolences to her family. dan lothian out with the president in ohio. thanks, dan, very much. wall street feeling the ripple effects of today's bad jobs number. the dow ended down 124 points. the nasdaq and s&p also posted losses. by the way, we're expecting to see president obama in a few minutes from now. he's about to sign a major bipartisan piece of legislation. when it happens, we'll bring it to you live. you're looking at live pictures from the east room of the white house. plus, a war veteran's heroism is questioned by her opponent in a rather nasty congressional race. ahead, tammy duckworth joins us live to respond. and brian todd is in massachusetts. brian. >> reporter: the ominous "jaws" music, one of the most legendary apex predators of the sea is back in these waters. we're going to show you the pictures.
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heightening fears all along cape cod this hour after some recent great white sharks spottings. brian todd is there on the scene for us. he had a chance to go out on a boat with some experts trying to find them. brian, what did you see? >> reporter: well, wolf, we got a very good firsthand look at some of the natural wildlife here. it's just incredible to look at. take a look at this beach behind me. our photo journalist is going to zoom in and show you some of this. this is just a gorgeous beach. it's one of the most popular best-known spots on the east coast in the summertime. but you'll notice there's no one in the water. and that's for good reason. gorgeous weather. and it's the height of summer. but they're only going in waist deep. it's not because the water's
cold. >> i grew up watching "jaws" back in the '70s, vivid memories. i don't want to relive that. >> reporter: this is what they're worried about on cape cod. not far from where kwtd jaws" was filmed, great white sharks are back each measuring 14 feet. authorities have identified 20 of these predators right off the cape over the past three years and believe there are many more lurking. >> tuesday our most recent sightings by one of our spotter pilots, two white sharks. >> reporter: a group called cape cod shark hunters works with the massachusetts's division of marine fisheries to track, photograph and tag the great whites. we're out off the cape looking for the sharks with john of the marine fisheries division. we spot abundant marine life here including hump back whales. it looks like a harpoon, but it's a listening station. these buoys carry acoustic receivers that track the
migration and behavior of great whites that have been tagged. what's drawing them here? >> we know they're here looking for seals. that's why we placed these in strategic locations where we know they're hunting seals, where we have documented seal kre nations. >> reporter: the population of gray and harbor seals on cape cod have made a huge comeback in recent years. every expert we speak to points to that as the magnet for great whites. here's a pod of seals. this is an area where they've tagged a lot of sharks. we're told that the sharks are very stealth-like. look on the bottom and come up and grab the seals even close to shore. this dead seal washed up on shore, expert says things to look for in a seal that's been attacked, teeth marks and possible tearing that you could be seeing right here. an expert later looks at our video and says this is very likely a shark attack victim. they're not scaring folks off. they're a top attraction this summer and good for business. >> some quality great white shark t-shirts being sold. it's awesome.
>> i think folks in general love to see sharks. they love the idea of sharks. >> reporter: now, one marine biologist points out there hasn't been a shark attack on a human in these waters since about 1936. but with the seals making such a comeback and with the seals' proximity to the swimmers, authorities here are getting increasingly concerned, wolf. >> how close to the shoreline have these sharks that were spotted -- how close have they been? >> reporter: well, one expert who was tagging and tracking these said one shark was spotted about 100 yards from shore. but another one said that there was one spotted about 30 feet from the shoreline. so these sharks aren't too shy but coming very close to these beaches. >> brian todd on the beach there. thanks very much. brian will have a lot more coming up in our brand new 6:00 p.m. eastern hour later today. we'll head back to this story. meanwhile, a u.s. war veteran who lost both her legs in combat in iraq now is a
candidate for congress. she's here in "the situation room" today to answer her opponent's charge -- at least the charge he made earlier here in "the situation room." and she's talking only about her military service and not the issues. and later, we have the incredible story of a man who literally climbed mt. everest and then died in a courtroom probably by his own hand once he was caught. i was born with scoliosis. without shriners hospitals, my life would be completely different. they gave me my future back. send your love to the rescue. donate to shriners hospitals, today.
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finally, relief is on the way for the record-breaking heat wave in the eastern part of the united states. lisa sylvester's monitoring that and some other top stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa, what do we have? >> hi, wolf. first we have to get through saturday. that's when temperatures will be 10 to 20 degrees above normal in the mideast and mid-atlantic states. washington, d.c. broke a record today with its ninth straight day over 95 degrees. but a cold front begins moving through the midwest late saturday. and by early next week temperatures in the east will be back to normal. very good news. we were hoping to hear. and doctors around the world are trying to solve a new and deadly medical mystery. an unknown disease that targets children. they come down with a high fever
then brain swelling and lung failure. so far the mystery illness is only showing up in cambodia. a doctor there says of the 64 cases he knows of, only two children survived. doctors throughout southeast asia are being alerted. and sunday's wimbledon finals will be one for the history books and the record books. on the final win, roger federer will be playing in his record eighth final going for a record-tying seventh men singles championship. and he will face andy murray, the first british man to make the wimbledon finals since 1938. a lot of folks are going to be watching that matchup, wolf. >> including me. what about you? >> i will. i will. i'll probably watch a little bit. i don't know the whole thing, but a little bit. >> i'll watch it. thanks, lisa. a candidate in one of the nastiest congressional races in the country is about to join us here in "the situation room" live. i'll ask tammy duckworth about her war record, her opponent's accusations she's avoiding the
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incumbent faces a democrat who's a veteran of the war in iraq. i'll speak with tamny duckworth in a moment. let's bring in kate bolduan. you got some background on what's going on because it's pretsty nasty and ugly. >> there's a lot going on here to tell viewers. joe walsh and tammy duckworth are fighting for a seat in the northwest suburbs of chicago. this district was created as part of redistricting efforts really takes place nationwide. but what's making headlines in this race is the name-calling. here's the town hall video that created an uproar around republican congressman joe walsh. >> that's what's so noble about our heroes. >> reporter: a tea party conservative has earned a reputation for controversy during his two years in office suggesting over the weekend his democratic challenger talks too much about her military service. >> now, i'm running against a woman who, i mean, my god, that's all she talks about. our true heroes, the men and women who served us, it's the last thing in the world they
talk about. >> reporter: the woman walsh is attacking, tammy duckworth, a veteran who lost both legs in a 2004 helicopter accident while serving in iraq. walsh has clarified several times he does think duckworth is a hero. >> i've said that thousands of times. i've called tammy duckworth a hero hundreds of times. >> reporter: but clearly he's not apologizing. here's more with cnn's ashleigh banfield. >> she was on tv a month and a half ago. she was asked a question about gay marriage. do you know what she talked about? her time at walter reed. look, i'll say it again, i have respect for her and her service. my thoughts and prayers go out to her like they do every wounded warrior. but that doesn't demand our vote. ashleigh, if that's what it took to be -- to get your vote, john mccain, another hero, would be our president. >> reporter: duckworth has been more than happy to fight back. >> he's just trying to shift the focus away from the fact that
he's done nothing in his two years in congress other than be an extremist loud mouth for the tea party. >> joe walsh is having, i think, a bit of trouble trying to figure out how to run against a war hero even though he's the incumbent in the house, he has a new district. he hasn't run for some of this territory before. and i think he is just trying to figure out how to use the experience he has as a way to matchup against the record that tammy duckworth has. >> and right now the nonpartisan political report calls this the surest democratic pickup for house races across the country. duckworth is expected to win this one, wolf. you and i interviewed joe walsh this week and he made clear and emphasized that he does think duckworth is a hero but continues to criticize her saying that she focuses too much on her military service, not enough on the issues that he thinks voters care about. >> he also says he's not taking
back whatever he had earlier said. kate, thanks very much. let's bring in tammy duckworth right now. i spoke with joe walsh together with kate earlier in the week. tammy is here right now. what do you say to his specific charge that the only thing you really want to talk about, tammy, is your military service? you don't want to talk about the specific economics, social issues that are important to constituents out there? >> well, actually i talk about the issues a majority of the time. in fact, mr. walsh is trying to distract the voters away from last week when he voted against the highway bill that you're about to discuss today as a matter of fact, wolf. he was the only member of the entire illinois bipartisan delegation to vote against a bill that would fix the roads and bring much-needed jobs into the district. he also is voted against the student loans. he wanted student loan rates to double. he has no plans for what to do to cut the budget other than to do it on the backs of seniors. he voted three times to end medicare and social security as
we know it. so he's trying to actually shift the focus away from his irresponsible actions as a congressman by attacking military service. that's irresponsible in his words. >> i don't know if he's attacking military service, but he's clearly attacking you. what's the biggest difference in your opinion, constituents out there in illinois should know about when it comes to economic policy, economic issue between you and walsh? >> that i actually have a plan for what we're going to do. i talk in my jobs plan about the need to bring in infrastructure development. we need to look at some serious cuts in the budget. and everything should be on the table including defense spending. i think we also need to take a look at rewarding employers and small businesses that keep jobs here. let's have tax cuts for those who hire people who have been unemployed for more than six months. let's have tax credits for businesses that keep jobs in the district. i have many, many items in my proposal. go to my web page. you'll see a majority of my discussions is about jobs, the economy, the need to access a good health care for all
americans. and it's also about education. making sure our kids can afford to go to college. >> he repeatedly says john mccain a war hero to be sure, he never really spoke that much about his own personal experiences as a pow in vietnam for example. but that's all he says you talk about, your war experiences. do you want to respond to what walsh is saying? >> i think mr. walsh is being very irresponsible in his words. at a time when we have so many veterans coming home, i hope that the veterans of this generation talk about their war experiences more than the veterans of the vietnam generation like senator mccain. you know, they were criticized back then. our war heroes coming home today should talk about their service. they need to talk about the leadership skills they learned in the military that will make them better employees. they need to talk about the fact they were able to accomplish really tough missions under really extreme conditions. and that will make them, again, better employees and better leaders in the civilian world. we also need to make sure --
they aren't homeless. it's irresponsible of mr. walsh as a sitding congressman to try to muzzle war veterans and keep them from talking about their service to try and insinuate that you're not a hero if you talk about your service. in fact our veterans should be talking about their service. it will help us understand why they make better employees to find those jobs and address issues of post-traumatic stress, increasing need for access for health care and the need to end homelessness among veterans. >> do you have a problem he never served in the military? >> none whatsoever. i think there are many, many ways to serve this nation. i think that people who volunteer on their kids pta are serving, i think people like my mom who volunteers at a soup kitchen is serving this nation. the key is for us to all do a part to make this nation great. what we need now are people in washington just as we have here at home who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work. mr. walsh is an example of what is wrong with washington. he's been there for two years.
and all he does is use belligerent words and actions and he doesn't want to compromise or work with anyone. instead he disagrees and argues with anyone who disagrees with him and doesn't see things his way. that's simply not acceptable in a sitting congressman. >> i agree that the differences on substantiative policy issues are what the two should be debating. he's used some nasty words. but you've also suggested among other things that walsh is an extremist loud mouth for the tea party. back in april you said there's not a crack pot tea party idea that he hasn't embraced. is that appropriate to use that kind of language against the sitting united states congressman? >> i think it's appropriate against a gentleman who says that he wants to be the poster child for the tea party. he actually gave that quote to "time" magazine. he's told the people in the district you're not going to get squat from me, his words. and that he is going to washington to shout from the mountain tops and he's not going to compromise. he's not going to work with anyone. he is there it to be a poster child for the tea party. well, if he's proud of that,
then he needs to embrace that because the people in the district are sick and tired of what's going on in washington. they want folks who are going to sit down, roll up their sleeves and get to work. i'm willing to work with anyone who loves this country as much as i do willing to work to get the country moving again. that's why in illinois we have everyone in the illinois delegation agreeing to vote in support of the transportation bill. something desperately needed especially in my district where we have o'hare airport as part of our district. yet mr. walsh was the only one to vote against that much-needed bill and the jobs that would come with it. >> do you have a problem -- he says that you send -- you and your campaign i assume he means, videotape all of his speaking engagements to watch him wherever he goes. is that an issue as far as you're concerned? >> no. since he sends someone to tape all of my speaking engagements as well. i think it's a standard campaign policy. i think that you should be proud of what you say in public. and if mr. walsh has a problem with that, then he shouldn't say
these things that really are not in keeping with the values of people of the district. >> if he's watching right now, is there anything you want to say to him directly? >> you know, i think that he needs to explain to the people of the eighth congressional district why he was the only person to vote against a highway bill and why he wanted student loan rates to double when our students need help to get to college and workers in the district need jobs to get to work on fixing our roads and our commuters and businesses need to make sure the roads and rails and bridges in our district are fixed. why is he the only one to vote against all of those bills desperately needed and supported in the district? >> are you willing, tammy, to come on our show and debate him directly? >> i've already debated him once. we had the first debate in the nation. i've agreed to three or four more debates. if yours is one we agree to, then i would be happy to. >> so there will be more debates before election day? >> yes. we already agreed to several more. and we're working through the issues. and we actually had the very first debate in the congressional race in the
general election back in may. we've been seen together in a lot of places. >> we would love to invite you and mr. walsh to come on and do a good serious substantiative debate, no name-calling, no nasty words on either sides. just the substantiative important issues i think that our viewers would be very happy to see that. >> i think that would be great too, wolf. >> thank you so much, tammy duckworth, joining us from chicago. a quick reminder, kate joins me every weeknight in our new 6:00 p.m. eastern hour of "the situation room." join us, we got some brand new stuff coming up later today. 6:00 p.m. eastern. we'll also have much more on this nasty race in our strategy session. but up next, why conservative writer and cnn contributor eric erikson says he supports congressman joe walsh and i'm quoting him now, 1,000%. yet the house is considering a bill to close thousands of offices, slash service and layoff over 100,000 workers. the postal service is recording financial losses, but not for reasons you might think. the problem ? a burden no other agency or company bears.
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you see us, at the start of the day. on the company phone list that's a few names longer. you see us bank on busier highways. on once empty fields. everyday you see all the ways all of us at us bank are helping grow our economy. lending more so companies and communities can expand, grow stronger and get back to work. everyday you see all of us serving you, around the country, around the corner. us bank. let's get some reaction to what we just heard from tammy duckworth in our strategy session. joining us now two cnn contributors. democratic strategist donna brazile and erick erickson.
erick, you caused a huge stir out there in blogospear when you wrote this on redstate.com. when congressman walsh pointed out duckworth eers service in the military about the extent of her public campaign platform. attacking as ins sensitive, hostile to veterans. all he did is tell it like it is. that's what is so refreshing about joe walsh. you said you support him one thousand percent. you're getting hammered for all that. >> let's make it a billion. the left is hammering me for that. they hammered joe walsh for saying things -- republicans hammered joe walsh for calling it like he sees it. the interesting thing here, wolf, is that joe walsh probably isn't going to win. the district was completely redrawn, it's heavily democrat. he's given the best fight he can. he's being very aggressive. but i standby what joe walsh said and tammy duckworth made his point. when she's in the public and
talking to the public, in the district and out of the district, she spends a lot of time talking about her military service, god bless her, but she doesn't spend a lot of time talking about the issues. she talks about joe walsh being wrong on the issues. you can go to her website to get where she stands on the issues, but she did you waoesn't say th campaign trail. >> she said he was the only member of the illinois delegation that didn't vote for the transportation -- >> god bless him for it. >> the president about to sign includes a lot of money for transportation initiatives in illinois. >> and fraud and abuse. >> keeping a lot of student loans down at 3.4% instead of going up. >> wolf, that's exactly what's wrong. this is a transportation bill and suddenly we're dealing with student loans in a transportation bill? i mean, congress has become a joke. joe walsh at least he's been willing to laugh at congress. >> all right. donna, what do you say? >> oh, i believe tammy duckworth is a hero. she served our country for over 20 years. and she's still serving our country as a reservist. she has every right to talk about her military service.
we're proud of her. and i believe the people of the eighth congressional district of illinois will not only support tammy duckworth in winning that election, but they believe that tammy duckworth is talking about the issues that impact the people of the eighth district. she's talking about jobs and the economy. preserving the middle class, making sure that the jobs there in illinois especially those jobs closest to home, the jobs at o'hare airport and other facilities, those jobs are protected and preserved. so i think this is going to be a very important race for people to watch. and we have a great deal of confidence that tammy duckworth will be the next congresswoman from the eighth district in illinois. >> the way that district has been redrawn it looks like she almost certainly will be the new congresswoman from that district. but we'll see what happens four months from now. let's talk a little bit about the president. and let me bring you back in, erick. he's getting a bit more feisty out there on the campaign trail going after mitt romney. watch this little excerpt from the interview he did with a local station out in ohio.
>> the fact that a whole bunch of republicans in washington suddenly said this is a tax, for six years he said it wasn't. and now he's suddenly reversed himself. so the question becomes, are you doing that because of politics? are you abandoning a principle that you fought for for six years simply because you're getting pressure for two days? >> he went onto say that rush limbaugh is pressuring him. and he capitulated with two days. what do you make of that? >> i wish mitt romney would listen to people like rush limbaugh. he didn't in the primary. i wish he would. mr. president, the reason we're calling it a tax is because five members of the united states supreme court including the two people you put on the court said it was a tax. therefore we're respecting the court and saying it's a tax even though none of us really think it's constitutional and we think john roberts got it wrong. he wanted to rewrite the statute. by the way, the obama team argued in court that it was a tax. >> the solicitor general as you
know, donna, donald verrilli said it was a tax, it would be administered by the irs, it would have to be paid for by april 14th. he's got a point there. >> wolf, we've been trying to figure out if mitt romney will get back on his own talking point so that we can somehow or another clarify the statements that he's made over the years about whether or not it's a tax or penalty. here's what i want to say to mitt romney, mitt romney, you did a good job in massachusetts in signing this bill into law that made sure the uninsured was covered making sure those who wanted to be free riders had to pay their own way, which meant a penalty or tax, use your own semantics. now we have an affordable care act that will ensure no one with pre-existing conditions will be kicked off their insurance. we should celebrate that and leave the politics to erick and i to another date. >> we're out of time. i want to promote donna's column that you just wrote on cnn.com on mitt romney. go to cnn.com, check out donna
brazile, she's writing, not only talking for cnn. >> it's a good column. >> thank you, erick. have a good weekend. thanks, guys, very much. we have a story you've got to see. authorities say a man once successful, once wealthy, secretly became a scam artist. they also suspect he committed suicide in a courtroom rather than go to jail. also coming up, one-time republican candidate for president makes a big decision about his party's upcoming convention in tampa. matters. pioneers in outsourcing us jobs supports tax breaks overseas. insourcing. industry and favors bring jobs home. it matters. this message.
tomorrow brings another milestone in the so-called arab spring. lisa sylvester's monitoring that. some of the other top toirs? "the situation room." what's going on, lisa? >> that's right, wolf. libya's holding its first election in nearly a half century. people will elect a national assembly that will appoint a transitional government and draft a new constitution. democracy seems to be quite popular in libya. some 3,500 candidates from 300 political parties are running for those 200 seats. and pakistan says a u.s. drone killed 20 people today on its side of the border with afghanistan. this is the second drone strike this month. and the first since pakistan reopened its border crossings to
supply trucks heading into afghanistan. in a separate incident, 18 pakistanis are dead after their vehicles were fired on by unknown assailantassailants. they were on their way to iran and the attack happened near the border. former presidential candidate jon huntsman decided to skip this summer's republican convention. the former utah governor says he won't attend anymore conventions until republicans focus on what he calls a bigger, bolder, more confident future based on problem solving, inclusiveness and a willingness to address what he calls the trust deficit. so huntsman crossed his name off. >> we invited him. i think he'll come here to "the situation room." we'll talk to him about that and a bunch of other issues as well. hundreds of thousands still without power suffering another day of triple-digit heat and relief could still be days away. and hillary clinton gets tough on syria. just ahead, who she says may
soon pay a price for the bloodshed. and what may have caused a bizarre apparent suicide right in the middle of a courtroom. the new depend silhouette briefs for charity to prove how great the fit is even under a fantastic dress. the best protection now looks, fits and feels just like underwear. we invite you to get a free sample and try one on too.
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here's a look at this hour's hot shots. in pakistan men protesting incoming nato supplies. in tokyo, activists use signs and a peace flag opposing the prime minister's decision to restart nuclear reactors in the area. in germany, a motorcycle rider rounds a turn while training for the grand prix. and in singapore, a british designer strolls through her exhibit at a garden festival. hot shots, pictures coming in from around the world. shocking moments inside a courtroom when the defendant, a millionaire just found guilty of burning down his own home, appears to swallow something and later dies. cnn has a closer look at a life seemingly spiraling out of control and what may have ultimately led to this rather bizarre end. >> reporter: these were the final minutes of michael marin's life. >> find guilty of arson of an occupied structure.
>> reporter: how he got here is a tragic and bizarre tale. before we tell this story, remember this moment, after being found guilty of arson and now facing up to 21 years in prison, marin covers his face and appears to swallow something. we'll come back to this scene. michael marin graduated from yale law school. had a lucrative career working around the world working for wall street investment banks making several million dollars. he collected artwork, drove a rolls-royce. paul rubin profiled him back in 2008 for the phoenix newspaper spding hours talking to the excentric millionaire. >> he's the smartest guy in the room. he's the smoothest talker in the room. he gets all the girls. he's that guy. he just ran into the brick wall that happens to these characters eventually. >> reporter: the brick wall was this $10 million home in
biltmore estates. he bought it in 2008 when the real estate market was collapsing. it came with an interest only mortgage payment of $17,250 a month. but michael marin had long left wall street and not worked in several years. and he was quickly running out of money. that's when prosecutors say he concocted a scheme to raffle off the house. and in the process make a million dollars for himself. the raffle was an oddly creative way to unload the biltmore house. raffle tickets would sell for $25. proceeds benefit child crisis center. to generate publicity for the raffle, investigators say marin scaled mth everest. it all played into the marin mystique. >> high altitude climatization climb up to 25,000 feet -- >> reporter: but joe epps says it's a ploy. unravelled marin's finances for
prosecutors. >> he paid $2,550,000 for the house and set up with a couple of friends of his a bogus second mortgage designed to increase the value of the house by $950,000 for a second mortgage that really didn't exist. >> reporter: you think this raffle was just a scam to make a million dollars, basically? >> yes. and at the same time be able to look like a very generous person who didn't make anything off of it. >> reporter: in april 2009, the arizona attorney general ruled the raffle was illegal. the plan fizzled. at this point marin was six months away from having to make a balloon payment of roughly $2 million to lenders or risk a major jump in his monthly interest payments. marin's financial world was collapsing around him. >> i don't think that he really thought this thing through he and his pals. and it ended up where he had to do something that was pretty wacky, which is burn down his
house. >> reporter: in the early morning hours of july 5, 2009, fire engulfed marin's biltmore home. he called for help from his upstairs bedroom. >> okay, what's your emergency? >> my house is on fire. >> are you going to be able to get out? >> i've got one of those ladders. >> you have a ladder where? >> i would rather work on that than talk to you. let me get out of here. >> reporter: marin emerged from the burning home wearing scuba gear that happened to be ready to go in his bedroom. jeff peabody is the phoenix fire department investigator who handled marin's case. >> every fireman says you're not going to believe this guy. he came out of a ladder in his master bedroom wearing a scuba tank and mask and snorkel. yeah, you're right. i find that odd. >> reporter: he relived the escape from his hospital bed. >> i realized that i actually had some air left in that tank. and that's what enabled me to get back to the window and deploy that ladder. if i hadn't had those two things, we wouldn't be talking. >> reporter: peabody says he found four spots in the house
where fires were intentionally set and a long line of phone books that was supposed to help the fire spread. which brings us back to that phoenix courtroom. a jury convicted marin of arson. he's facing between 7 and 21 years in prison. after he appears to swallow something after the verdict is read, notice as he reaches down and appears to get something from his bag. he then wipes his face, swallows something and appears to swallow again. eight minutes later marin starts convulsing and collapses. even though it's not been officially determined what killed michael marin, it's believed he swallowed some type of poison. marin's attorney says the convicted arsonist showed no signs of preparing to commit suicide. >> it was a gigantic shock. i think it's fair to say we certainly had no inkling this was going to happen. i'm not aware that anybody did. >> reporter: ironically it's jeff peabody, the fire investigator who built the arson case against michael marin, who tries to help him. but peabody says there was no
way to save him and that his final moments played out in a dramatic fashion, just as michael marin had lived his life. >> if he's going to do something, then this would be the time that he would do it. sort of like escaping from his house in the scuba gear. this was going to be his closure. >> the grand finale. >> the grand finale exit, yeah. >> reporter: cnn, phoenix, arizona. officials in phoenix say it will take about a month to get the toxicology and autopsy reports back. we won't know for sure until then what it was he swallowed. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, more than 4,000 heat records already shattered across the country. and the triple-digit misery and danger is about to get worse. an outing to watch the fireworks turns disaster when a pleasure boat flipped over killing three children. now new details from the man behind the wheel. >> the next thing i know we were
turning. and we just kept turning. and everybody was in the water and chaos. and former president george w. bush celebrates his birthday by giving a gift to countries in africa. a multi-million dollar effort to fight cervical cancer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." 102 degrees in the shade. this picture, take a look at it, taken here in washington. sums up what much of the nation is feeling today. yet another day of blistering heat. triple digits in many places shattering records all over the map. the heat is dangerous, potentially deadly. it's almost impossible to
escape. and for the hundreds of thousands still without power, without access to air-conditioning, it verges on the unbearable. the heat is also devastating to the economy. a drought in parts of the midwest may be the worst in decades. and prospects for the corn crop right now they are dimming every day. we have the latest on all the weather conditions, what you need to know to stay safe. but let's begin with lisa sylvester right now. she's here in washington, d.c. lisa, just how hot is it outside of the nation's capital? >> i can tell you, wolf, it's a pretty hot day today. in fact, washington hit a new record. the ninth straight day of temperatures over 95 degrees. i have here this is a thermometer, it's a laser thermometer. it tells you exactly how hot it is. you can see here i'm in the shade right now. and even in the shade you're right, it's hitting over about 100 degrees or so, 99, 100 degrees. that is in the shade. we're going to walk on over now and take a look in the sun and see what happens. and you can see those
temperatures automatically they start going up. you can see 104, 105, it's already starting to climb. and that is just the start of it, wolf. in chicago it's been hot enough to buckle the pavement. a record-breaking heat wave hitting the middle of the country with merciless triple digits. in rockford, illinois, another road buckled. and that can put lives at risk. this damaged highway in o claire, wisconsin, sent one driver airborne earlier this week. captured on video by teresa reich. across the country the weather map is bright red. >> we have two dozen states again that are under heat advisories and heat warnings. you look at this as far as the scope of the u.s., about a quarter of the country is involved in these heat advisories and warnings. about a third of the nation's population, some of this is going to be dangerous heat once again. >> reporter: some people getting emergency relief like ice by the truckload in topeka, kansas. or beating the heat by hitting the pool.
nationwide more than 4,000 heat records have been broken. >> i'm just going to work and i'm dying. >> reporter: drought conditions in much of the country and tough times for animals as well, the heat is being blamed for several fish kills this week from st. louis to delaware. and power outages due to recent storms still have several hundred thousand without power or air-conditioning. the best some dc residents can do is pray for a breeze. but some people are determined to carry on, like these minneapolis runners. and these volunteers preparing for a weekend block party there. >> i feel like i'm melting. just melting today. >> reporter: everyone knows it's a hot day, but just how hot? we have this laser thermometer. and here at this bus stop in washington you can see the heat coming off of this pavement is registering about 127 degrees. in new york city we took a thermometer to the subway platforms. the result, 92 degrees underground in the shade. and in dc. >> how hot is it?
>> i think they're saying it's in the close to 100 degrees. >> reporter: yeah, we actually have a way of measuring it. take a look here. what's coming up here, this is what it feels like, 127 degrees. >> i'd say bring on 20 more degrees and we'll okay for today. make it even 150 degrees. >> reporter: for anyone whose work requires them to be outdoors, take an example from these chicago firefighters. know your limits, take breaks and stay hydrated so you don't end up like these folks earlier this week in indiana who were at a sweltering fourth of july parade. how do you stay cool? >> lots of water, gatorade, ice. >> reporter: experts say wear loose clothes and sunscreen, drink plenty of water and watch for signs of exhaustion. >> feeling weak, feeling dizzy. >> reporter: yeah, clearly good advice there that we were hearing. i've got my loose clothing on. you've got your water bottle,
got the sunglasses. but of course the best advice is if you don't have to be outside, head inside. wolf. >> yeah. very good advice indeed. drink a lot a lot of water in this heat, especially obviously if you're outside. lisa, thanks. the heat wave is due to get worse before it gets better. let's turn to our meteorologist, alex and ra steel. >> you're right. it's going to get worse. 115 million people, one in three of us dealing with some type of heat watch or advisory or warning. this just dropped from 109 to 106. you can see the breadth and depth at 100. so in the last 30 days we have had 4,500 daily records. what's more staggering, 240 in the last two weeks all-time record highs, not just a high for a day or the month, but places like atlanta hit a number they've never ever hit any day any month ever.
106, denver hit 105. nashville 109. just to give you a little perspective on this heat. this is the same heat that two weeks ago began in the west. it actually exacerbated the wildfires including the waldo canyon fire. of course friday night's derecho around st. louis, that triggered that because of all the heat there. and now it's moving of course to the mid-atlantic. so many places in this quad ron of the country are seeing heat indices between 100 and 115. and they don't have power. show you it's all connected. and unfortunately there's another heat wave beginning in the west that will make its way east. before we get there, here's today. you can see 101 in kansas city. 106 st. louis. 98 in washington. as we head toward tomorrow in the mid-atlantic, that's kind of the pinnacle of the heat, 105. if dc hits 106, it will be the warmest number. they'll get the records we were talking about in atlanta, they'll hit a number they've never hit before. columbus, 105. 106 in st. louis.
here's the good news. this is the cold front -- cool front let's call it. it will bring a little bit of relief. you can see it dropping on sunday. chicago on sunday 20 degrees cooler than where they were today at 100. still 100 degrees though in washington, d.c. but the cool air, it's on its way, wolf. but, again, there's another heat wave reracking itself in the west that will find itself way east some time soon. >> looks like it's going to be a hot, hot, hot summer indeed. thanks, alexandra for that. >> you're welcome. despite the defection of a key syrian general, the rerentless crackdown grinds on. the u.s. is putting pressure to tighten the damascus regime. barbara starr is working the story for us. pretty tough language today from the secretary of state hillary clinton, barbara. >> well, wolf, secretary clinton has never been anyone to mince her words. and today she let russia and china have it.
in the beleaguered city of homs, opposition troops protect demonstrators even as in another part of town [ gunfire ] -- the shelling continues. at a paris conference on syria, secretary of state hillary clinton tore into russia and china. >> i will tell you very frankly, i don't think russia and china believe they are paying any price at all, nothing at all for standing up on behalf of the assad regime. the only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that russia and china will pay a price. >> reporter: is change likely? >> the idea is if you get russia and china on board, that the russians particularly can use their leverage inside of syria with the regime, get the generals or other people in the upper part of the regime to oust the ruling family.
>> reporter: but russia isn't likely to move until it sees assad losing power. and china will wait to follow moscow's lead. clinton is making the case syria matters to everyone. >> countries that are not implementing sanctions need to be implementing the sanctions. no travel, no trade, no comfort for this regime. because if syria spirals further into civil war, not only will more civilians die, more refugees will stream across the borders, but instability will spread far beyond syria. >> reporter: u.s. officials say a hopeful sign, the defection of this man, a one-time assad confidant, could reach out to other sunnis. >> when you're making billions a year and used to ruling a country you inherited from your father, you don't want to leave and you think you're a leader of your people. >> reporter: so what would be a
tipping point? many say assad has to be convinced he's in the ultimate dilemma, that he either stays and dies, or he leaves syria. wolf. >> are they speculating over there where he might go? i've heard word he could obviously go to iran, which has been a close ally, or maybe even russia for that matter. are you hearing anything at all at the pentagon if he decides he wants to save his own life and get out of syria? >> reporter: at this point i have to tell you, no. there's not any discussion with any specificity about any of that. the discussion you do hear, wolf, is they want a controlled transition. the big fear is that somehow the regime implodes and there would be mass uncertainty in syria. that's not good for the middle east or anybody, wolf. >> thanks very much. as i've said, i've heard russia and iran as two possible destinations if he decides to make that decision and bolt.
let's see if he does or wants to hang on in damascus. barbara starr reporting for us at the pentagon. the july 4th holiday turned into a nightmare when a boat capsized during a trip to see fireworks. three children died. now, the man who says he was driving the boat is speaking out. we also have an important alert. your computer may be about to have some major problems. but there's a way to avoid it. we'll tell you how. and outrage in colorado. planes that could have made a major difference during the killer wildfires never got off the ground. thanks for babysitting the kids, brittany. so how much do we owe you? that'll be $973.42. ya know, your rates and fees aren't exactly competitive. who do you think i am, quicken loans? [ spokesman ] when you refinance your mortgage with quicken loans, you'll find that our rates and fees are extremely competitive. because the last thing you want is to spend too much on your mortgage. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. ♪
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all right. this just coming into "the situation room." in the last hour i interviewed u.s. war veteran tammy duckworth on a rather nasty illinois congressional race against republican incumbent joe walsh. i asked her if she would be willing to debate him right here in "the situation room." she said she was open to it. she didn't want to make a
definite commitment saying she'd already agreed to a few other debates back in illinois. just a few moments ago i received a tweet from congressman joe walsh saying this, we'll put it up on the screen. we'll show you what he said. it was directed to @wolf blitzer. i would be happy to come on your show to do a live debate with # tammy for congress. we're looking forward to hosting such a debate if it happens. walsh agrees and hope tammy duckworth will as well. monday you may have been one of hundreds of thousands of computer users expected to be knocked off the internet. it's all because of a computer virus you've probably never even been warned about. cnn's tom foreman has some information you need to know. tom, what's going on? because there's a virus out there that's supposed to go into effect what, on monday? >> yes. >> will it affect a lot of people? >> it may already be in effect.
it's a malicious spirit lingering out there that could really hit you hard on monday. it may have already done so. let's look at it. it's called the dns changer. it's actually been out there for quite some time. the fbi helped identify who was doing it. this was done by some eastern european criminals, basically. it was targeted at four million computer users worldwide. a half million in the u.s. were infected along the way. what did this thing do? well, essentially if you were on your computer and you're looking for something, what it would do is redirect you to some other site. like you go to itunes looking to buy music, it might take you to a site that looked like itunes and might steal information from you. might sell you ads from companies that didn't buy the ads, all that sort of thing to basically rip off a lot of money. about $14 million was stolen in this fashion. all of that's bad enough, wolf. this is a big deal. the fbi was very concerned about it. they called this operation ghost click, breaking this ring and getting inside and figuring out
how when you clicked you weren't going to what you were going to. you were going to some kind of ghost of it. here's the real danger. on monday this virus floating out there is going to simply make a lot of people not be able to get on the internet at all. you'll go on, you'll get one of these messages and essentially the bottom line is you will be locked out unless you do something about it, wolf. >> what can these folks do about it? >> well, that's a good question. the fbi's trying to help. the simple truth is some of the biggest players out there have been involved in here. facebook got involved sending notes if you went to facebook and looked like you had this virus, you would have gotten this notice that you might be infected. other people got involved. apple got involved. google got involved with messages like this saying your computer appears to be infected. the bottom line is if you think this may be the case with you, go to this website, write it downright now if you have any doubts about it go to www.dns-ok.u.s. when you go there, when you sign
on, if this is what comes up, and it basically gives you a green symbol and says your computer appears to be looking up ipo addresses correctly, then you're probably okay. but if you go to that site and instead it comes up red, then you've got a problem. so if you didn't get that address right now, just look up dns changer online and see if you can find this link to the fbi. the bottom line is, this is a key to tell you if your computer is infected or not. if you get red and it is infected, you need to go through all the steps to remove this. bottom line is you should probably update all your securities this weekend, anyway, whatever system you have to watch malware and trojan horse virus and all that. update it and be safe so monday you're not locked out. >> good point. www.dns-ok.u.s., right? >> absolutely. >> all right. i'm going to do it after the show as well. thanks very much. and good advice, tom. i want to bring you back for one second. never go to any links unless
you're 100% -- 1000% sure it's legitimate. >> the truth is we're all exploring on the internet. but the simple truth is you get a link in the mail, hooked to something, if it looks the least bit suspicious, don't do it. search things up your own and get there properly. be careful about those links. that's how people lure you into the dark alleys of the internet where bad things happen. >> they certainly do. thanks, tom. the man charged with killing the teenager, trayvon martin, is released from jail. we're going to tell you how much george zimmerman paid to get out of jail and the steps being taken to make sure he doesn't flee the country. and a tragedy on the president's bus tour. a woman dies just an hour and a half after the president eats at her restaurant. hey america, even though slisa rinna is wearing the new depend silhouette briefs for charity
authorities in new york are working on plans to raise a boat that capsized off long island. they're hoping to determine why it flipped over killing three children during an outing to watch the fireworks on the fourth of july. the driver of the boat is telling his side of the story to cnn affiliate news 12 long island. >> were you on the boat? >> i was the driver. >> you were the driver of the boat? can you tell us what happened?
>> we went to see the fireworks and then we were coming home and a wave got us. and it turned the boat. it just turned the boat. >> was it from weather or other boats? >> we got a wave -- there was a wave that got us. i couldn't right the boat. i didn't think a 34-footer would turn. it just bellied up. >> it was like a rogue wave off to the side or something? >> yeah. i didn't see it. it was dark. it just happened. >> wow. was the weather starting to turn? >> yeah. first thing they said was two lightning bolts -- my nephew was in front, rocco, did you see that? he goes yeah, uncle sal. and the next thing i know we were turning.
and we just kept turning. everybody was in the water and chaos. >> the boat just kind of rolled? >> rolled right over. right over. there was nothing wrong with the boat. a wave. i didn't see it. >> happen superfast? >> yeah. looks like slow motion, but it didn't. it just came. it turned itself upside down. >> affiliate wabc is in oyster bay long island with the latest. >> reporter: wolf, the search for answers continue on this pictu picturesque part of new york. quickly turned into chaos and tragedy. that 34-foot yacht is still sitting right now at the bottom of the long island sound in 70 feet of water as police try to figure out the best way to haul it out in one piece. they're trying to preserve that boat as best as they can so they
can determine if some sort of mechanical problem contributed to this calamity just after that fireworks show ended wednesday night. investigators say 27 people, many of them extended members of one family were on that boat when it went down. passing boaters were able to rescue 24 of them, many of them clinging to the hull on pieces of furniture that had fallen into the water. but three children, ages 12, 11 and 8 had been in the boat's downstairs cabin and never made it out. right now their families are planning their funerals. the boat is owned by a man named kevin treanor. his brother-in-law was at the controls when the boat went down. and he has blamed this accident on a rogue wave from a summer squall that was passing through at the time. authorities right now trying to confirm if that was possible. but it's unquestionable the boat was overloaded on wednesday night. in fact, the owner's manual for this particular boat a silverton 34 convertible lists the maximum recommended capacity at just ten people.
remember, there were 27 onboard when all of this happened. law enforcement sources tell me they have not ruled out criminal charges in this case. in fact, local district attorney has been researching possible statutes that might apply. first investigators have to lay their eyes on that boat. and i'm told it won't be pulled from the bottom of the bay until tomorrow at the earliest. wo wolf. george zimmerman is released from jail. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other stories in "the situation room." >> well, he paid $100,000 of his $1 million to be released. the judge set bail yesterday saying his deceit over cash holdings at his first hearing weren't enough to hold him without bail. but the judge fears he might flee the country to avoid trial. so he has new restrictions like barring him from setting foot on airport property. and a sad story out of akron,
ohio. just an hour and a half after hosting president obama at her restaurant, ann's place, josephine harris died at the age of 70. no official cause of death is known at this time. and the white house says the president expressed his condolences in a conversation with mrs. harris' daughter. president obama visited that diner just this morning on his bus tour through ohio and pennsylvania. and check out this incredible rescue in oregon where firefighters pulled a horse out of a well. only its head, shoulder and one hoof were sticking out of the 4 x 4 foot opening. because it had been abused by a previous owner, well, this horse is afraid of men like the firefighters you see there. but with patience and by covering the horse's head, fire crews managed to pull her to safety. everybody loves a good animal rescue story. and that is a great one, wolf. >> that was very good. it was hot out there. >> i was. i was outside there for a while. pretty hot. >> 110 degrees. >> i know. it's the heat radiating off of the pavement.
that's what you really get. again, cars, very important people should not leave their children obviously, their pets, they should not leave them in the cars because those cars get so -- that heat just immediately starts to rise and that temperature starts to rise, wolf. >> thanks very much, lisa sylvester. over at the white house by the way the president of the united states is speaking at a signing ceremony. he's signing the transportation bill a bipartisan piece of legislation. 80% will go for federal highway programs, 20% for mass transit. in this legislation also continuation of low loans -- low interest loans for students 3.4% for another year. you know, let's listen in a little bit to the president. >> -- the financial aid that's offered to students. and i've been asking them to help us give 2 million americans the opportunity to learn the skills that businesses in their areas are looking for right now through partnerships between community colleges and employers. in today's economy, a higher education is the surest path to
finding a good job and earning a good salary and making it into the middle class. so it can't be a luxury reserved for a privileged few. it's economic necessity every american family should be able to afford. this is an outstanding piece of business. and i'm very appreciative of the hard work that congress has done on it. my hope is is that this bipartisan spirit spills over into the next phase. that we can start putting more construction workers back to work, not just those already on existing projects who were threatened to be laid off, but also getting some new projects done that are vitally important to communities all across the nation and that will improve our economy. as well as making sure that now that we have prevented a doubling of student loan rates, we actually start doing more to reduce the debt burden that our young people are experiencing. i want to thank all the americans, the young or the
young at heart who took the time to sit down and write a letter or type out an e-mail or make a phone call or send a tweet hoping that your voice would be heard on these issues. i promise you, your voices have been heard. any of you who believed your voice could make a difference, i want to reaffirm your belief. you made this happen. so i'm very pleased that congress got this done. i'm grateful to members of both parties who came together and put the interests of the american people first. and my message to congress is what i've been saying for months now. let's keep going. let's keep moving forward. let's keep finding ways to work together to grow the economy and to help put more folks back to work. there's no excuse for inaction when there's so many americans still trying to get back on their feet. with that, let me sign this bill. and let's make sure that we are keeping folks on the job and keeping our students in school. all right.
thank you very much everybody. [ applause ] >> the votes by the way, this is truly a bipartisan piece of legislation the president is signing into law right now. 186 republicans in the house voted in favor of it. 187 democrats voted in favor of it in the house of representatives overwhelming bipartisan support. in the senate 50 democrats voted in favor, 24 republicans voted in favor also lopsided so this is one of those rare moments real bipartisan cooperation in washington producing this transportation bill that among other things will also keep student loans at a relatively low interest rate at least for another year. you see the president using multiple pens. he's going to give those out to some of those who have been invited over to the white house for this signing ceremony. democrats and republicans are there. the president of the united states signing this bill into law. new economic numbers
released today as well. i'll talk to a leading economist who says there may be some reason to be optimistic despite the bad numbers of today. tells us why the economy might still turn around. also, if you read anything about tom cruise in the last ten years, you know how devoted he is to scientology, is that what led him to his divorce from katie holmes? standby.
jobs. that's certainly not enough to move the unemployment rate, which remains at 8.2%. the underemployment rate rose to 14.9%. that includes the jobless those who could only find part-time work and those who no longer actively are even looking for a job. 12.7 million americans are now officially unemployed. 5.4 million have been unemployed for longer than six months. and the chief economist from moody's analytics is joining us. mark, 80,000 jobs created last month. you thought it would be higher. what happened? well, it was a disappointing number. certainly not enough to get unemployment moving lower. in fact, if we stay at 80k, unemployment will move higher. i think fundamentally businesses are just extremely nervous. the memory, the nightmare of the great recession is still in their minds.
anything goes a little off, they stop hiring. and that's the weak job numbers that we're getting. it's a lethal combination or bad combination of uncertainty mixed with plain fear. >> 8.2% unemployment for all of america. but look at -- we go deeper a little bit among whites, 7.4%, among hispanics, 11%. among blacks, 14.4%. that's a significant increase for african-americans. why is that? >> well, workers that have skills that have higher levels of educational attainment are doing better. they always do better, but in times like these in tough economic times they do measurably better. and so that's being born out in the data. so people that have gone to college, get higher degrees, that have some work experience, that have skills, can manage a
high-tech manufacturing facility, they're doing pretty well. and it's reflected in the low unemployment statistics for that group and higher wages. if you don't have those things, you're in big trouble. and that's why those groups have higher rates of unemployment and wages are very depressed. >> put on your forecasting cap for a moment. we're exactly four months away from the presidential election. do you expect over these next four months any significant changes in the economic environment? >> well, i think the job numbers will improve. to some degree there's measurement issues. we were getting 250,000 jobs per month in december, january, february. that overstated strength in the economy. and last several three or four months we've been getting less than 100k. that overstates the weakness in the economy. the reality will be born out in the data. i expect job gains 125, 150, 175
between now and the election day. and if that's the numbers we do get, then i think unemployment will probably be around 8% when we go to the polls. >> and if it starts moving up in that direction, that would be good political news for the president and potentially for his re-election. you've studied both of these candidates and their economic strategies, their policies in trying to strengthen the economy. is there one thing that jumps out at you? the biggest difference in what the president would do in a second term on the economic front as opposed to what mitt romney might do if he were elected? >> well, you know what's striking to me is how similar they are. at the top of the list they've got to address the coming fiscal cliff. if there's no change in policy, tax rates are going up on everybody and we've got some really large spending cuts that are in train. so both of them need to focus on that. and both of them are focused on achieving fiscal sustainability. that is future budget cuts that will result in deficits that are small enough that are debt-t
debt-to-gdp stabilizes. there are some very clear differences. what strikes me most is the similarities in terms of focusing on our fiscal situations. and i think they're right. we have to focus on those things if we're going to be able to grow more strongly in the future. >> christine lagarde, the head of the imf, the international monetary fund, she's in tokyo. and she said this today. let me play the little clip. >> are we safer today than at the time of the lehman crisis? i would say not quite yet. >> she's referring to the collapse of lehman brothers back in 2008. that was pretty sobering when i heard that. what do you think? >> yeah, it is sobering. of course she's dealing firsthand with the european debt crisis. and that is a very significant threat. in fact, at the moment that's the most significant threat to our economy. and it's one of those things that's keeping business people from going out and hiring more aggressively. but having said that, i think
here in the united states our economy is in a measurably better place. i think businesses have reduced debt. they've gotten their cost structures down. they're very competitive globally. households have reduced debt. banks are in much better shape. i think the american economy is in a measurably better place than where it was certainly compare today where we were when lehman brothers collapsed in late 2008. >> mark zandi joining us. mark, thanks very much. >> thank you, wolf. we barely heard from him since leaving office, but now the former president, george w. bush, is talking about his passion while in africa. >> you're always a former president but i wanted to come here as a laborer. kind of sneak into the country. i didn't do a very good job of it. can be such a big thing in an old friend's life. purina one discovered that by blending enhanced botanical oils into our food, we can help brighten an old dog's mind
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george w. bush is not out of the public eye -- not in the public eye i should say much since leaving the presidency. today though is his birthday. and he's just back from a trip to africa where he and the former first lady, laura bush, were on a humanitarian mission. watch this. >> i wanted to come here. you're always a former president, but i wanted to come
here as a laborer, try to sneak in the country. i didn't do a very good job of it. but i do want to be able to say that on this particular trip that myself and friends have left behind in hopes to inspire others to come and refurbish clinics as well and encourage the government to make sure there are health care workers necessary to make sure the clinic doesn't just sit there empty. and then we're off to the capital. i'm looking forward to seeing the president. i'll be wearing a coat and tie tomorrow. >> he's being very modest. i'm a gynecologic cancer specialist. my particular interest is cervical cancer. what he's doing today and the initiative is the most important
thing that has ever happened on this continent as it relates to the prevention of surviving cancer, which is the number one cancer-killer of women in southern africa. it is by far the most important single event that has ever occurred. and i know that. i've been coming here for 30 years. so he's being modest. i'm telling you the facts. >> anyway, we're off to work. listen, we've got some extra paint brushes. thank you all for coming. >> good work. thanks to that, mr. president. and president bush is 66 years old. happy birthday, mr. president. massive fires out in the west. why are some air tankers just sitting on the ground? standby. we'll explore. accolade overdrive.
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as firefighters battle western wildfires, they've been able to call in air strikes from tanker planes. but is the u.s. forest service using all the air support that might be available? here's cnn meteorologist rob marciano. >> wolf, the fire storm that engulfed parts of colorado springs may have been more than any piece of fire fighting equipment could handle. but while crews scramble to save
homes, fire fighting planes perfectly capable of flying sat parked at the tarmac. stopping big wildfires before they reach big cities like colorado springs is getting increasingly difficult. while the bulk of the fire fighting effort is made on the ground, attacking the flames from the air is crucial to getting the fire under control. first over the fire are often heavy tankers, modified war planes that can drop thousands of gallons of water or retardant on or ahead of an advancing fire line. the u.s. forest chief says air tankers are key to fighting the big fighting the big battles. >> we need large air tankers that can carry a minimum of 3,000 gallons to be able to actually penetrate the canopy to get that retardant down on the ground where it can actually slow down the fire. >> reporter: but the number of tankers has shrunk in the last decade from 44 in 2002 to just 9 today. tankers contracted by the forest service now have to meet higher safety standards. a more rigid, proactive maintenance schedule than both
the faa and navy require. the result is parked planes. these p-3 tankers, former navy sub hunters owned by a company called aero union, have met faa standards but sit idle because they don't comply with new forest service requirements. fully compliant, ready to fly, but also parked is the biggest of all tankers. and they call it the big kahuna. if you were a passenger on a 747, this is where you'd be sitting. instead, on this plane they've got ten tanks carrying 20,000 gallons of fire retardant and/or foam. 90 tons of firefighting artillery. but the u.s. forest service says it's too big and too expensive to keep continually ready on a standby basis. the service says it gets more use out of smaller tankers. but big tankers are especially effective when trying to stop a fire on a ridgeline, which is what didn't happen the night the waldo canyon fire ran down the mountains into colorado springs, ultimately burning 346 homes.
>> that was a good place to use big planes, and we were using big planes. >> reporter: rich harvey is the fire's incident commander. so i asked him if he could have used an even bigger plane. >> it would have been nice to have the jumbo jet dropping 20,000 gallons? >> we had what we had. we did what we could do with it. >> you're really toeing the company line here. in an ideal world, you know, 747 comes flying over that ridge with 20,000 gallons to dump on that fire before it hits the ridge. you know, just between me and you. >> me and you and the camera, you know, i like -- we used what we got. we try to do the best things we can with the tools we have in the tool chest. >> reporter: the air force reserve has helped the cause by supplying eight modified c-130s, tragically losing one plane and its crew in a crash earlier this week. military-owned planes don't have to comply with forest service safety standards. the cause of the crash is under investigation, but it highlights an undeniable fact. aerial firefighting is dangerous
business. it doesn't always guarantee success. >> i know it's hard for folks to understand, and i know it can be frustrating. but we can have all the resources that are available, all the retardant planes, all the helicopters, but when you get the right set of fuel conditions, the right weather, and you get strong winds like we had there, you're going to get a fire that's going to move like that no matter how many resources that we've had. >> reporter: as our cities spread into the forest, mother nature may ultimately have the upper hand. >> rob marciano reporting for us. thank you, rob. so did scientology have something to do with their split? the internet is buzzing about the cakatie holmes-tom cruise break-up. you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat.
but shriners showed me who i could be again. they turned my whole life around. hunter's life is one of nearly a million changed by donations from people like you. send your love to the rescue. donate today. a lot of buzz out there over katie holmes and tom cruise's divorce. there's speculation cruise's religion had something to do with it. cnn's tom foreman has more. >> reporter: when it comes to scientology, tom cruise may well be the faith's most combative celebrity defender. famously tearing into nbc's matt lauer over the church's repudiation of psychiatry. >> do you know what addroll is? do you know ritalin?
do you know now that ritalin is a street drug? do you understand that? >> the difference is -- >> no, matt, i'm asking -- >> but this wasn't against -- >> matt, i'm asking you a question. >> i understand there's abuse of all of these things. >> no, you see, here's the problem. you don't know the history of psychiatry. i do. >> although cruise joined scientology in the 1980s, over the past decade his public identification with the group has been much more pronounced. he's explained his beliefs on talk shows, in the press, and scientology meetings featuring cruise with his "mission: impossible" theme playing in the background and the star giving a military salute to a scientology leader. >> i think it's a privilege to call yourself a scientologist and it's something you have to earn. and because a scientologist does. he or she has the ability to create new and better realities and improve conditions. >> reporter: many of cruise's statements underscore a central lesson of the faith, that its followers can accomplish great things. >> when you drive past maximum
it's not like anything else. as you drive past you know you have to do something about it because you know you're the only one they can really help. and i won't hesitate to put ethics on someone else because i put it ruthlessly on myself. >> reporter: such talks he canos teachings laid out in the 1950s by the faith's founder, science fiction writer l. ron hubbard. he created an outline for conduct and advancement. for example, through counseling sessions referred to as audits followers are supposed to be led toward positive thinking and achieving their goals no matter how ambitious. listen again as cruise talks to fellow devotees about world leaders. >> they want help. and they are depending on people who know and who can be effective and do it. and that's us. >> reporter: that was 2004. by 2005 cruise was expressing even more enthusiasm over actress katie holmes. most notably by jumping around
on oprah's sofa. >> have you ever felt this way before? >> reporter: so what happened? holmes who was raised catholic is believed to have converted to scientology as her relationship with cruise grew. but in the wake of their split, there are reports that she is concerned over their daughter suri being raised in the faith. but for now neither is addressing those reports. holmes' attorney called the divorce a private matter and said her primary concern is her daughter's best interest. cruise's attorney did not respond to cnn inquiries but told the "los angeles times" his client hoped the divorce would not be contentious. cruise has spoken dismissively of what scientologists call s.p.s, suppressive persons, a term used for people who try to impede the mission of scientology. >> they said, so have you met an s.p.? i looked at them. you know, and i thought, what a beautiful thing. because maybe one day it'll be
like that. you know what i'm saying? maybe one day it will be that. wow, s.p.s. they'll just read about those in the history books. >> reporter: whether any of this plays into the split with holmes is yet unknown. but when cruise and his second wife, actress nicole kidman, divorced, similar speculation appeared. kidman, who was also raised catholic, never seemed to fully embrace scientology, and after the break-up she was described as enjoying a homecoming in the catholic church. as for cruise -- >> and i do it the way i do everything. there's nothing part of the way for me. >> reporter: there is no sign he has any intention of backing away from his controversial faith. faith. tom foreman, cnn, washington. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com happening now. bad news on the job front opens a fresh battleground in the campaign.
hot enough to buckle the pavement as record temperatures sear the country. and straight out of a movie, great white sharks spotted off a popular beach. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the jobless numbers are now in, and they are not good. the trends are disappointing. for the first three months of this year the economy was creating an average of more than 200,000 jobs a month. that's decent. but for the last three months that number has dropped to around 70,000 jobs a month. that's weak. we need at least twice that number just to start seeing a little bit of a drop in the unemployment rate. nearly 13 million americans remain unemployed. millions more are not even counted in the statistics any longer because they've simply
given up looking for a job. overall, unemployment remains at 8.2%. among white americans the unemployment number is around 7%. for hispanics it's around 11%. for african-americans it's now jumped up to more than 14%. for many young people, including a lot of new college grads, it's off the charts. none of these -- this of course factors into the many millions of americans who have a job but are underemployed. they may be working only part-time. they may be working for a lot less than they used to make, but they have no choice. they need to put food on the table. and they may be way overqualified for the job they currently have, but they can't find a job that meets their job skills. on the surface the current numbers don't necessarily bode well for president obama's re-election. here's how he reacted today. >> and that overall means that businesses have created 4.4 million new jobs over the past
28 months, including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs. that's a step in the right direction. >> mitt romney had a very different reaction. >> the president's policies have not gotten america working again. and the president's going to have to stand up and take responsibility for it. >> the one thing president obama does have going for him is this. while the 80,000 jobs created last month certainly not good, still a lot better than the 700,000 jobs a month lost when he took office. the country was then in a great recession. he inherited a mess, to be sure. certainly not in great shape today, but a lot better than it was. so is that enough? is that enough good news to get him re-elected four months from today? we will all find out. let's go to kate bolduan now. she's got some of the other top stories in the situation room. kate? >> hey there, wolf. i first want to talk about a story affecting the majority of the country. the relentless blazing heat.
and if this summer seems hotter to you, well, you're right. new records are being set by the thousands. cnn's lisa sylvester is out there in it for us. you are quite a woman to be doing that for us right now, lisa. how is it? >> reporter: hi there, kate. yeah, it is a little bit of a scorcher out here. washington did set a new record. it's the ninth straight consecutive day of temperatures over 95 degrees. and we have here, this is a laser thermometer. and i can point and i'm going to show you a point here in the shade. this is mind you in the shade. this is coming up about 94 degrees. 93 degrees. but we can walk over here into the sunlight. different story. watch these numbers as they immediately start to climb. 115, 116, 117. in chicago it's been hot enough to buckle the pavement. a record-breaking heat wave hitting the middle of the country with merciless triple digits. in rockford, illinois another road buckles, and that can put
lives at risk. this damaged highway in eau claire, wisconsin sent one driver airborne earlier this week, captured on video by theresa reich. across the country the weather map is bright red. >> a quarter of the country are involved in these heat advisories and heat warnings. about a third of the nation's population, some of this is going to be dangerous heat once again. >> reporter: some people getting emergency relief like ice by the truckload in topeka, kansas. or beating the heat by hitting the pool. nationwide, more than 4,000 heat records have been broken. >> i'm just going to work, and i'm dying. >> reporter: the good advice is you want to wear loose clothing if you are outside. you want to make sure that you have water. and it doesn't hurt to have your sunglasses on as well, kate. >> all right. lisa sylvester, a long day for you out there. thank you so much. the driver of a boat that capsized off of long island on the fourth of july blames a wave for the disaster. 27 people were tossed off the boat when it flipped, including
three children who died. listen to what the man who was behind the wheel told our affiliate, news 12 long island. >> we went to see those fireworks, and then we were coming home. then a wave got us. and it turned the boat around. it just turned the boat. >> was it from weather or from other boats? >> we got a -- there was a wave that got us. that couldn't -- i couldn't right the boat. i didn't think a 34-footer would turn. it just bellied up. >> authorities in new york are working on plans to raise the boat, hoping to determine why it flipped over. there was a strong thunderstorm in the area at the time. so, so sad. and the neighborhood watchman who admits to killing trayvon martin is out of jail once again. you see george zimmerman there in a gray suit walking out of
the seminole county correctional facility fwreed on $1 million bail. zimmerman's first bond was revoked after the judge learned he and his wife weren't open, hadn't been open about their finances. so this time zimmerman must report to officials every two days. he can't open a bank account and can't go to the airport. also, lance armstrong is lashing out at his accusers and u.s. anti-doping officials. speak to the daily beast, the seven-time tour de france champ says officials are trying to "coerce testimony from his accuse accusers." he's talking about reports that some of his accusers have cut a deal allowing them to finish out the season before they're suspended for doping. and finally, we are following a developing story right here in the washington, d.c. area where at least three cars derailed on d.c.'s metro's green line, just over an hour ago. none of the 55 passengers were hurt. but this happened near hyattsville, maryland where the temperatures were just under 100 degrees right now. i want to go to a reporter, suzanne kelly who is -- suzanne
kennedy, who is with our cnn affiliate wjla who is out there. suzanne, what more can you tell us about what the situation is right now? >> reporter: kate, this started at about 4:45 this afternoon. it was an outbound green line train that was heading into the west hyattsville station. when all of those 55 passengers were brought off the metro train, some of them were brought into the bus that was brought in here. this medical ambulance bus provided by prince george's county fire sxechlt ms. their namds were recorded. they were questioned about how they were feeling. they were given water. those were the walking wounded. i want to take you over here just a little bit and show you what was going on. you can see a small silver hatch in the ground. those two doors allow access down into the metro rail system. and that is where they were bringing passengers out about a half hour ago. ambulances remain on the scene, although metro is saying there were no injuries, we did see several people transported. one of them a senior citizen. one of them a pregnant woman. what we know is there were at least three cars that derailed. the last three cars on the
train. service has been suspended between two major stations here in prince george's county. we also know that above-ground trains have been slowed to 35 miles per hour. i asked a metro spokesperson just a few minutes ago how this heat could have impacted it. they say that is certainly something they are going to be looking into as they investigate this. again, a green line train, inbound green line train here in washington, d.c. derailed within the last hour. back to you. >> suzanne kennedy of our affiliate wjla, thank you so much. of course the commute home is going to be quite impacted this evening. but fortunately they say no serious injuries. >> it will be interesting to see how that heat -- if the heat really did play a role in -- >> we've seen the heat buckle roads across the country. it's quite possible. of course they'll be investigating that. >> i'm sure they will. thank you. we're following a lot of news, important news around the world as well. this could be the tipping point for the regime of the syrian president, bashar al assad. the man to the right of him in these photos could almost be
called his right-hand man. he's certainly a top syrian army general from one of the country's most elite families, tied to the bashar al assad dynasty for decades. his name is manaf tias. we now know he fled to turkey and is heading to paris in what's being called a hard blow to the regime. cnn's ivan watson is watching it all unfold. i asked him to explain the magnitu magnitude. >> he comes from the closest thing that syria has today to an aristocracy. the tlas family has been at the top of the syrian political structure for decades now. he was a princeling, the son of mustafa tlas, who was the defense minister and one of hafez al assad's right-hand men, who helped lead the way for the eventual presidency of the current president bashar al assad. i've interviewed this man's brother, firaz tlas, who was a
powerful and wealthy businessman in damascus, and manaf tlas was the military side of the family, of the younger generation, from the same generation, wolf, as bashar al assad. so they likely grew up together. and at the very least it is a powerful psychological blow and a sign that the inner circle of the syrian regime, which has maintained incredible discipline for 16 deadly months, at least has one very noticeable crack now. >> because what i'm hearing, ivan, is there are a lot of efforts, not just by sources in the west but also in the region, in the middle east, arab countries, that are using whatever they can, money, covert operations, to encourage high-ranking generals in the syrian military to defect, to break with president bashar al assad, and they're warning them, the international community is, if you don't you could be tried for war crimes, brought before the international criminal
court, you could be killed yourself. and that effort, that covert effort, if you will, seems to be working to a certain degree. the question is how much time is left? because a lot of people are dying in the process. >> reporter: that's right. according to estimates, more than 16,000 dead in 16 months. and a big question for men like manaf tlas, who were so closely associated with the regime, is is there any place for them to go if they defect? i'm hearing from opposition networks that some people want to prosecute this man for alleged war crimes, for crimes against humanity, which the united nations has repeatedly accused the syrian government of. so it may be a case for some of these people who are being wooed by western or arab intelligence agencies, do they even feel like there's a safe haven for them to escape to with the voluminous amount of evidence linking their regime to unspeakable atrocities
month after month in syria? >> ivan watson reporting for us. today's disappointing jobs report has sparked a new skirmish in the presidential campaign. president obama and mitt romney, they are trading barbs. we're going to hear what they're saying. plus, brian todd has something really exciting. >> wolf, there's real concern for beachgoers here in cape cod in this area behind me. there have been recent sightings of great white sharks. we're going to show you the pictures and we'll tell you what's drawing them here. great shot.
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it's not the news president obama was hoping for. a disappointing jobs report putting a damper on day two of his bus trip through ohio and pennsylvania and leaving his prospects for re-election as uncertain as ever. our white house correspondent dan lothian is traveling with the president. dan, what did he say today about this disappointing jobs report? >> reporter: well, the president said that it will take some time
to turn the economy around. but his top economic adviser alan krueger cautioned in a statement not to read too much into one monthly report because these numbers are volatile, sometimes there are revisions. but this is the third straight month of these dismal numbers, and we're only four months away from election day. president obama's battleground bus tour drove over a big speed bump when disappointing job numbers overshadowed his campaign message. >> it's still tough out there. >> reporter: at a rally in poland, ohio the president didn't dwell on negative news. instead played up private sector games. >> businesses created 84,000 jobs last month. and that overall means that businesses have created 4.4 million new jobs over the past 28 months, including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs. [ cheers and applause ] that's a step in the right direction. >> reporter: but unemployment remains at 8.2%, and voters are divided over who best can handle the economy. a recent cnn/orc poll shows 48%
of registered voters think mitt romney, 47% president obama. looking to keep a tight grip on the battleground states of ohio and pennsylvania that voted for him in 2008, the president pushed his message of manufacturing gains, especially in the auto industry, to work's-class voters. he began the final dave his betting on america bus tour with breakfast in akron, ohio, where the president was joined by three union workers from a nearby goodyear tire plant. >> you've been there 20 years. and you're still there? >> yeah. >> reporter: then the president toured the summer garden food manufacturing plant near youngstown, a business the campaign said was expanding and creating jobs. at carnegie mellon university in pittsburgh, his biggest event of the tour, there was one final appeal for a second term. >> and if you still believe in me like i believe in you, i hope you will stand with me in 2012. >> a report from cnn's dan lothian, our white house correspondent, traveling with the president. meanwhile, mitt romney is seizing on the disappointing jobs numbers.
he's using it as a way to hammer away at the president. our senior congressional correspondent dana bash is in boston. she's covering the romney campaign today. dana, what's going on? what happened? >> reporter: well, first let me start by showing you some new video just in to cnn, captured by our producer shawna sheppard with gil de la rosa. they got some video of mitt romney doing what we think he's been doing pretty much all week long and that is frolicking in the waters of like win pa salkie with his family, his kids-w his grandkids. we certainly saw some images, but nothing like this, with him diving into the water and really seeming to have some fun and relax. while he is doing that, i can tell you all week long here in boston, where romney's headquarters are, they were waiting for this morning, for today, the first friday of the month, to get these jobs numbers and to try to refocus their campaign message on joblessness under the obama administration.
90 minutes after news broke of disappointing jobs numbers, a vacationing mitt romney appeared before cameras. >> it is another kick in the gut to middle-class families. >> reporter: responding fast to america's slow economic recovery is a way for team romney to begin its own political recovery. an aide deviating off message as to whether the health insurance smaeshz a tax. >> supreme court is the final word, isn't it? the highest court in the land. so they said it's a tax. of course. >> reporter: and there was an unusual amount of friendly fire. a pair of corporate heavyweights calling romney's advisers amateur and harsh editorials in the influential conservative "wall street journal" and "weekly standard," which slammed the gop candidate for focusing too much on what the president hasn't done and not enough on what romney would do. editorial william kristol writing -- "adopting a prevent
defense when it's not even the second quarter and you're not even ahead is dubeius enough as a strategy." a day later this got special emphasis 37. >> i have a plan. my plan calls for action that would get america working again and get good job, both near term and long term. it includes finally taking advantage of our energy resources, building the keystone pipeline, making sure we create energy jobs and we convince manufacturers that energy will be available at low cost in america. >> reporter: despite trying to quiet criticism by reiterating his economic plan, romney advisers believe this election will be a special twist on ronald reagan's famous question. >> are you better off than you were four years ago? >> reporter: romney aides argue that with president obama it's not so much a question of are you better off? it's did he meet those high expectations he set four years ago for a different america? with soaring rhetoric like this. >> everybody has a chance to succeed. from the ceo to the secretary.
from the factory owner to the men and women on the factory floor. >> reporter: it was no accident that romney used an emotional term, kick in the gut, not once but twice. >> america can do better. and this kick in the gut has got to end. >> reporter: romney still has some work to do to convince those conservatives about the fact he is going to talk more about his own economic plan for the future because as that "wall street journal" editorial said they are concerned that he is squandering an historic opportunity. and let's look a little bit at the history, why they're so frustrated. wolf, here's a little bit of historical statistics. 70 years ago, even more than 70 years ago, that was the last time a president was re-elected with this kind of unemployment numbers. franklin roosevelt was the president. >> do we expect, dana, the romney campaign, the republican presidential candidate himself, to be offering specific new proposals over the next four months?
>> reporter: i don't think necessarily that he's going to offer new proposals because as he reminded people today he did put out a 59-point plan. i think -- early on in the primary season. i think the bigger issue for him is talking about it more and talking about it in a concise way, in a way as john sununu, the former senator from new hampshire, said to you yesterday, that is declarative and very specific and very easy to understand, which republicans are worried that he hasn't done so far. >> short sentences, he said. all right, dana, thanks very, very much. that 59-point proposal he put out, some republicans panned it then, but we'll see if he can elaborate right now. >> short sentences that people can understand. that's what he says. that's very important. all right. coming up, vice president joe biden's home town struggling so much officials want to pay all city workers minimum wage. what's going on in scranton, pennsylvania? [ kimi ] atti and i had always called oregon home.
but you know, our family's roots run deep here in this county, in this city. my great, great grandfather was the city engineer for the steve scranton from 1883 to '93. >> so if biden's great, great grandfather were working for scranton today, guess what? he'd be facing a severe pay reduction. the mayor wants to call almost every 400 members of the city employees to minimum wage. let's bring in our cnn political director mark preston to tell us what's going on. so everybody who works for the city is only going to be paid minimum wage, is that right? >> well, that's what the stranton mayor's trying to do right now. and we always talk about how the economic crisis is hitting close to home, and what we're seeing up how in scranton and what joe biden is -- he's really watching what he describes as his hometown, basically running into this financial wall. so what has happened is that you have the city mayor who says he
doesn't have enough money to pay all the workers. he needs money to pay off bills, pay for gasoline, for police cars, and for the fire engines, as well as to pay for health insurance. i have to tell you, earlier today a lawyer for the city of scranton was on cnn and he said this is a dispute between the mayor and the city council and the money does happen to be there. now, wolf, we should note now, as much as joe biden does say that he is from scranton and he loves it and that's where his family's from, he doesn't have a whole lot to do with local issues. he can't really get involved in the fight. but we did ask the obama campaign, biden campaign what the vice president thought about it, and this is what they had to say p they said, "this administration is leading the fight to address the challenges facing first responders, teachers, and all public employees and that's why no matter the locale the vice president and president are standing up for these middle-class workers and their families with a jobs plan that would create up to a million jobs right now, putting teachers, police, firefighters, and construction workers back on the job." now, of course, he doesn't
address it directly. trying to push his economic plan. but just a few days ago, as you had said in the open, he was in scranton. he had some prophetic words for the people of that city. let's hear what he had to say. >> this county, this city has gone through some tough times. it's had its heyday. it's come back. it's had tough times. but the remarkable thing about all of you is that like my father you don't measure success on whether or not a man or woman's been knocked down. you measure success on how quickly they get up. and so many people, so many sons and daughters of scranton have been knocked down, but they've gotten back up. time and time again. >> there you are, wolf. prophetic words, kate. prophetic words from the vice president just a few days ago. >> when you talk about the tough times that the city may be in, what are you hearing about these reports that the city wants the campaign to actually pay for biden's trip there? >> well, it just goes to show you that they are trying to
squeeze every nickel that they can and see where they can get it. we reached out to the mayor's office today because he had told the local newspaper, the "tribune" that in fact he was going to ask for that money from the campaign to help pay for security costs and other expenses. we reached out to the mayor's office. he did not get back to us today. but we did speak to the obama campaign, the biden campaign, and they simply had to say this -- "the campaign will follow all the rules and pay for the portion of travel that relates to political events, as has been true for previous incumbent presidential candidates." and i think, kate and wolf, it's really simple to say that all politics really is local. >> good reporting. thanks very much, mark. >> thanks, mark. >> for that. her military service versus his tea party backing. those two issues have this congressional race boiling over right now with some ugly rhetoric. tammy duckworth talks to me about her campaign to unseat congressman joe walsh. plus, great white sharks spotted off one of the most popular beaches in the northeast. we're going there live. 50 past the hour.
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let's get right to one of this year's most watched and nastiest congressional races. it's in illinois, where a tea party republican incumbent faces a democrat who's a veteran of the war in iraq. kate bolduan is joining us now, our congressional correspondent. you're here. you're keeping a close eye on this race. a lot of folks around the country are as well. >> yeah, we've definitely been keeping a close eye on this one. we're talking about joe walsh and tammy duckworth. they are fighting for a new seat in the state representing the northwest suburbs of chicago, created as part of redistricting efforts that have been taking place across the country. but what's really making headlines in this race is the name calling. here's the town hall video that created an uproar around republican congressman joe walsh. >> that's what's so noble about our heroes. >> reporter: walsh, a tea party conservative, has earned a reputation for controversy during his two years in office, suggesting over the weekend his democratic challenger talks too much about her military service. >> now, i'm running against a woman who -- i mean, my god,
that's all she talks about. our true heroes, the men and women who serve government, it's the last thing in the world they talk about. >> reporter: the woman walsh is attacking, tammy duckworth, a veteran who lost both legs in a 2004 helicopter accident while serving in iraq. walsh has clarified several times he does think duckworth is a hero. >> i've said that thousands of times. i've called tammy duckworth a hero hundreds of times. >> reporter: but clearly he's not apologizing. here's more with cnn's ashleigh banfield. >> she was on tv a month and a half ago. she was asked a question about gay marriage. do you know what she talked about? her time at walter reed. look, i'll say it again. i have respect for her and her service. my thoughts and prayers go out to her like they do every wounded warrior. but that doesn't demand our vote. actually, if that's what it took to be -- to get your vote, john mccain, another hero, would be
our president. >> reporter: duckworth has been more than happy to fight back. >> he's just trying to shift the focus away from the fact that he's done nothing in his two years in congress other than be an extremist loudmouth for the tea party. >> joe walsh is having i think a bit of trouble trying to figure out how to run against a war hero. even though he's the incumbent in the house, he has a new district, he hasn't run from some of this territory before, and i think he is just trying to figure out how to use the experience he has as a way to match up against the record that tammy duckworth has. >> right now the non-partisan cook political report calls this the surest democratic pickup for house races across the country. so duckworth is expected to win this one. wolf and i interviewed walsh this week. he made clear he thinks duckworth is a hero but says he is not backing down and does not regret what he said. >> and i spoke with tammy duckworth earlier, and i asked her to react to what her
opponent joe walsh has been saying. >> he repeatedly says john mccain, a war hero to be sure, he never really spoke that much about his own personal experiences as a p.o.w. in vietnam, for example, but but that's all he says you talk about, your war experiences. do you want to respond to what walsh is saying? >> well, i think mr. walsh is being very irresponsible in his words. at a time when we have so many veterans coming home. i hope that the veterans of this generation talk about their war experiences more than the veterans of the vietnam generation like senator mccain. you know, they were criticized back then. our war heroes coming home today should talk about their service. they need to talk about the leadership skills they learned in the military that will make them better employees. they need to talk about the fact they were able to accomplish really tough missions under really extreme conditions. and that'll make them, again, better employees and better leaders in the civilian world. we also need to make sure that our veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress talk about their wartime experiences and reach out for help.
and also those veterans who become homeless need to talk about the fact that they are homeless. it's very irresponsible of mr. walsh as a sitting congressman to try to muzzle war veterans and to keep them from talking about their service by trying to insinuate that you're not a hero if you talk about your service when in fact our veterans should be talking about their service. it will help us better understand why they make better employees so that they can find those jobs. it will also help us address the issues of post-traumatic stress, increasing veteran suicides, the need for access to health care for veterans, and also the need to end homelessness among veterans. >> do you have a problem that he never served in the military? >> none whatsoever. i think there are many, many ways to serve this nation. i think that people who volunteer in their kids' pta are serving. i think people like my mom, who volunteers at a soup kitchen, is serving this nation. the key is for to us all do a part to make this nation great, and what we need now are people in washington just as we have here at home who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work. mr. walsh is an example of what is wrong with washington. he's been there for two years,
and all he does is use belligerent words and belligerent actions and he doesn't want to compromise or work with anyone. instead he disagrees and argues with anyone who disagrees with him and doesn't see things his way. that's simply not acceptable in a sitting congressman. >> i agree that the differences on substantive policy issues are what the two of you should be debating. but he's used some nasty words. but you've also suggested, among other things, that walsh is an extremist loudmouth for the tea party. back in april you said "there's not a crackpot tea party idea that he hasn't embraced." is that appropriate to use that kind of language against a sitting united states congressman? >> i think it's appropriate against a gentleman who says that he wants to be the poster child for the tea party. he actually gave that quote to "time" magazine. he's told the people in the district that you're not going to get squat from me. his words. and that he is going to washington to shout from the mountaintops and that he's not going to compromise, he's not going to work with anyone, he is there to be a poster child for the tea party. >> i also asked tammy duckworth
if she'd be willing to debate joe walsh right here in "the situation room" live. she was open to, it although she didn't make a flat commitment. she said she already had several debates planned with him, wouldn't commit to joining us in "the situation room." but she's going to think about it. a little bit after that interview aired i received a tweet from joe walsh saying this @wolfblitzer, "i'd be happy to come on your show to do a live debate wit with @tammy4congress." that would be tammy duckworth. we're going to try to make this debate work. let's hope it does. so have voters already made up their minds about the economy? the impact of today's jobs report. that's next. and great white sharks sending a chill through the summer air at a popular beach. we're going there live. that's at 6:50 p.m. eastern. the postal service is critical to our economy, delivering mail, medicine and packages.
yet the house is considering a bill to close thousands of offices, slash service and layoff over 100,000 workers. the postal service is recording financial losses, but not for reasons you might think. the problem ? a burden no other agency or company bears. a 2006 law that drains $5 billion a year from post office revenue while the postal service is forced to overpay billions more into federal accounts. house bill 2309 is not the answer. use the points we earn with our citi thankyou card for a relaxing vacation. ♪ sometimes, we go for a ride in the park. maybe do a little sightseeing. or, get some fresh air. but this summer, we used our thank youpoints to just hang out with a few friends in london. [ male announcer ] the citi thankyou visa card. redeem the points you've earned to travel with no restrictions. rewarding you, every step of the way.
the june jobs report numbers are out. it's not good news. certainly not good news for the country. not good news for the president. lay it all out. >> okay. so here's what we learned just this morning. the u.s. economy added 80,000 jobs last month. not enough to move the unemployment rate from 8.2%, where it's really hovered since the beginning of the year around there. still, as you mentioned, wolf, at the top of the hour president obama is putting up a fight while mitt romney is, not surprisingly, pouncing. >> we've got to deal with what's been happening over the last decade, last 15 years. manufacturing leaving our shores. incomes flatlining. all those things are what we've
got to struggle and fight for. >> this is a time for america to choose, whether they want more of the same. whether unemployment above 8% month after month after month is satisfactory or not. it doesn't have to be this way. america can do better. and this kick in the gut has got to end. >> let's talk about it with our senior political analyst, ron brownstein. he's also the editorial director of the "national journal." also joining us, steven moore, senior economics writer for the "wall street journal" and a member of its editorial board. and our chief political correspondent, candy crowley. she's the anchor of cnn's "state of the union." steve, when you heard that 80,000 number today, what immediately went through your mind? >> uh-oh. because it's a lousy number. you know, we've only been averaging about 75,000 jobs now for the last three months. so this isn't the first bad jobs report we've had. by the way, you know, we in the media always report the 8.2% unemployment rate. but there's various measures of unemployment, and the other big
one is 14.9%, wolf. and that's the percentage of americans who either aren't in a job, have become so discouraged they're not looking for a job, or can't find a full-time job. that's a lot of americans. that's one out of every seven. it's a big problem for president obama going four or five months before an election. >> either underemployed or unemployed. >> that's right. >> we're now four months away from the election, ron. do you see that there's going to be any drastic changes to that point? and if we're sitting here on election day and it hasn't budged, how much trouble is president obama in? >> look, it would be historic for him to be re-elected with this level of unemployment. but that doesn't mean that it's outside of his reach. my guess is that this is not going to have a huge effect on the dynamic. the last bad month of unemployment did not really change it. in fact, president obama's probably in a slightly better position today than a month ago. but what it does i think make clear is that there's not going to be a tailwind for him. there's not going to be anything that's going to lift him into a safer zone. and this is just going to be a dogfight or trench warfare where it's going a very -- in all likelihood a very close result without any real tailwind for
the president that anyone can see on the horizon at this point. >> candy, steve schmidt, who was the mccain campaign manager four years ago, he told "the new york times" this. he said "the shape of the playing field is largely set. they believe it's a very bad economy. they're pessimistic and they're anxious. the campaign that wins is the campaign that best -- is best able to address the anxiety." he sort of convinced that most people have already made up their minds. >> i don't think -- yes, most people have already made up their minds. that's true. but the people that are going to decide the election haven't made up their minds. so the folks they want to talk to, the swing voters. i do think the economic table is set. we've seen this pattern since early spring at least. and it's going to stay around 8.2%. it's not great. it's not awful. it's not losing jobs, but it's not gaining enough jobs. so i think what we've seen is here's president obama out there going, i understand it, i feel your pain, i used to, you know, travel the country by bus and stay at hotels, i'm a regular
guy, i get it. but you don't want to go back to the guy -- the kind of policies that caused us this in the first place. and then you see mitt romney out there going, this isn't working, he's failed. so those are the messages. they're set. the economic messages are set. >> it's a problem, though -- if you go back to almost four years ago, what did barack obama say? if i can't fix this in four years, i think he used the direct quote, you can fire me. that's something that mitt romney's going to say week after week after week, that this isn't working. >> he says he's fixing it, it's not completely fixed yet but it's better than it was. >> the real issue is whether americans when they go into that voting booth feel at all confident that things are -- >> and that's why that right track, wrong track -- >> that is the key. what improved obama's position from last summer to this summer was an increase in the people -- share of people who believe things were going to get better, not the share of people who said things were better today in their lives. i was out in the denver suburbs on july 4th interviewing voters and i felt like the clear divide was almost everyone felt that obama had been handed a very
difficult situation and the divide was between those who said this is about as good as anybody could have done and those who said as steve did, look, this just isn't working and we need -- you know, romney is almost a non-entity at this point. there's no real impression of him among these voters. but what you have is either people who feel that obama's doing about as well as he can or just hit the wall. >> steve, the "wall street journal" caused quite a stir this week because i know how anxious you made the romney campaign. that editorial. i don't know if you had any involvement in writing that editorial. i assume you did. but it was a blistering -- walk us through the decision-making process when you said what you said. i'm paraphrasing. dysfunctional campaign, counterproduct. or whatever. >> i'd like to use the term "tough love." i mean, it was a very tough editorial. it's saying look, wake up, the game is on here. you've had -- you know, you're not being very quick on the draw. we didn't think he did a very effective job responding to the supreme court decision on
obamacare, which ron as you know, that's going to be the other big issue, is healthcare, because now this election is also a referendum on whether we're going to keep that. we were just trying to say look, you've got to get involved in the race. taking a vacation right now doesn't sound like the greatest idea. and you've got to be tougher. i was in chesapeake, virginia this week turning on a tv. this is a battleground state. there are a bunch of obama ads on the economy. i didn't see much of romney. sew just seems to be falling behind. >> final thought on this. do you think this is a problem when you think of -- when you see this tough love with the candidate or with the campaign? >> i think it's a problem with the candidate, number one. it always is. you know, he's running that thing. this idea that he needs to bring outsiders -- i talked to a couple folks in the campaign. they said, look, we weren't geniuses three weeks ago when everyone said, you know, president obama is really blowing this, and we're not idiots now. but they're taking this advice. i mean, they listen to it and they say we are listening to our friends, we are -- you know, we are making progress, we are trying to get people on the ground. and they also say, listen,
remember, the obama campaign has just dumped everything it had on us. we're being outspent 3-1 in ads. watch for them to step it up. but they are taking this kind of advice. >> when the "wall street journal" editorial page speaks, republicans listen. >> yes. >> we'd like to think so. >> and some democrats as well. >> hopefully them too. and i know you read our page as well. >> of course. thanks very much. 14-foot killers lurking in the waters off cape cod. we're going there live for new details of the great white shark scare keeping beachgoers out of the water. er 1 ] out here in the winds, i have to know the weather patterns. i upgraded to the new sprint direct connect. so i can get three times the coverage. [ chirp ] [ manager 2 ] it's like working in a giant sandbox with all these huge toys. and with the fastest push-to-talk... i can keep track of them all. [ chirp ] [ chirp ] [ male announcer ] upgrade to the new "done." with access to the fastest push-to-talk and three times the coverage. now when you buy one kyocera duracore rugged phone, for $49.99, you'll get four free. visit a sprint store, or call 855-878-4biz.
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shark sightings are sending a chill in the summer air through cape cod. these aren't any sharks, their the giant killers made famous in the movies, great whites. ryan, what's the latest, what are you seeing, what's going on there? >> reporter: well, wolf, take a look at this beach behind me. our photo journalist will take a span of the beach. you see people milling around. this is one of the most popular, best-known spots on the east coast. right now, as you see hardly anyone even near the water and there's good reason for that.
gorgeous weather, and it's the height of summer. but they're only going in waist-deep, and it's not because the water is cold. >> i grew up watching "jaws" back in the '70s and vivid memories. and i don't want to relive that. >> reporter: this is what they're worried about on cape cod. [ screaming ] ♪ >> reporter: not far from where "jaws" was filmed, great white sharks are back. >> tuesday, most recent sightings by one of our spotter pilots. two white sharks. >> reporter: each measuring at least 14 feet. authorities have identified 20 predators right off the cape over the past three years. and believe there are many more lurking. a group called "cape cod shark hunters" works with the massachusetts division of marine fisheries to track, photograph and tag the great whites. we're out off the cape, looking for the sharks with john chisolm of the marine fisheries division. we spot abundant marine life here, including humpback whales. >> all right.
>> reporter: it looks like a harpoon, but it's a listening station. these buoys carry acoustic receivers that track the migration and behavior of great whites that have been tagged. what's drawing them here? >> we know they're here looking for seals. that's why we placed these things in strategic locations, where we know they're hunting seals, where we have documented seal bredations. >> reporter: the documentation has made a huge comeback in recent years. every expert we speak to points to that as the magnet for great whites. here's a pod of seals. this is an area where they have tagged a lot of sharks. we're told the sharks lurk on the bottom, come up and grab the seals, even this close to shore. scenes like this make people wonder how close the sharks could be. this dead seal washed up on shore. and experts say things to look for, tooth marks and possible tearing. an expert looks at our video and says this was very likely a shark attack victim. the sharks aren't scaring folks off.
they're actually a top attraction this summer, and even good for business. >> some quality great white shark t-shirts being sold. it's awesome. >> i think folks in general love to see sharks. they love the idea of sharks. i think sharks fascinate people. >> reporter: one marine biologist points out, a human has not been attacked by a shark in these waters since 1936. but with the seals making such a big comeback and the seals' proximity to the swimmers around here, authorities are getting increasingly concerned. wolf, one of the shark-trackers told us one of these great whites got as close as 30 feet from the shoreline. >> wow. let's just hope everybody stays away from that dangerous area if, in fact, it is dangerous. ryan, thank you. so something new in this hour of "the situation room." we're calling it "ask wolf." if you have a question you've always want to ask, to get inside his brain, you can finally chime in. you see all the ways you can reach out on your screen, facebook, twitter, ireport.
ask away. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] what's the point of an epa estimated 42 miles per gallon if the miles aren't interesting? the lexus ct hybrid. this is the pursuit of perfection. nature valley trail mix bars are made with real ingredients you can see. like whole roasted nuts, chewy granola, and real fruit. nature valley trail mix bars. 100% natural. 100% delicious.
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for the first time in almost a quarter century, a baby panda is born at tokyo's zoo. it's our video of the day. check it out. you can't see it, but you can certainly hear it squealing. [ squealing ] >> zoo keepers say all that noise is a very good sign of a healthy cub. congratulations. that's it for us. >> congratulations. >> have a great weekend. >> you too. >> i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, the june jobs report is out, and it's not good. but does it add up to all doom and gloom? and claims of abuse and neglect at a hospital backed by american taxpayer money. tonight, the whistle blower speaks out, exclusively to outfront. and mcdonald's, the only
branded food you'll find at the olympic village in london. the fast food chain says it has healthy options. does that add up? let's go "outfront." ♪ good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, summer blues. depression set in early today, and it set in hard. there were only 80,000 jobs added in this country in june, and the 8.2% unemployment rate didn't budge. ♪ yep. the stock market plunged, politicians and analysts alike sounded like they were on the edge of a cliff. >> there's a lot of misery in america today. and these numbers understate what people are feeling, and the amount of pain which is occurring in middle class america. >> peter buickvar equity strategist tells "outfront" the jobs numbers are quote,